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Sunday, 29 March 2015

The sheer variety of it all

My two essays in February about being trans generated a lot of interest:

http://suerichmond.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/how-many-of-us-are-there.html

http://suerichmond.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/does-being-trans-really-wreck-your-life.html

Today I want to illustrate how being trans cuts through every social distinction - class, race, profession, income, location, marital status, etc.

It’s often struck me, when out with my TGirlfriends, just what a diverse bunch we are. Yes, we all have this one thing in common - we present ourselves as women. But apart from that, we all have very different lives.

It’s often been said to me by TGirls who’ve been around a while that they have found that, apart from all liking to wear skirts, they’ve often felt no other connection with some of the other TGirls they meet. I know what they mean, although I feel there’s more common ground if you dig a bit deeper. The sheer variety of social backgrounds in any group of trans people is amazing. I can recall meetings when a bunch of girls have included, just for example, a printer, an astrophysicist, a photographer, a builder, a surveyor, a railway engineer, a car salesperson, a graphic designer, a translator, a diver, an artist, a bus driver … and so forth. Some are married and have their wives with them; some have kids, others not; some are older, some younger; some richer, some poorer. And they come from all over. And I think, where on earth else except a trans event would you find such a diverse bunch of people in the same room?

You just wouldn't believe where these women go and what they get up to in the daytime! (Tiff's photo)



That illustrates what I mean about transness cutting through all human distinctions and which I feel is good evidence that this life is not, as detractors insist, some lifestyle choice. If it was, you’d expect a similar background in those choosing the lifestyle. Instead of which, anyone at all can be affected.

Being trans is at least a great way to meet people! And look stunning at the same time.

Sue x

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A game of two halves

I've dressed as a woman every day for twenty years now, ever since I vowed to stop purging and never again deny this essential trans part of me. That's not the same as presenting as female, of course, which is something that's only happened in the last five years. It been good to see how, on the whole, friends and public usually accept the needs of trans people. It's been very odd, though, having to revert to male mode when I am in public as there are things I had forgotten about. Apart from having long forgotten my male clothes sizes, I have this terrible habit (as male) of complimenting women on their hair, clothes or accessories and I keep having to bite my tongue. Just yesterday I managed to stop myself complimenting a woman in a beautiful cornflower blue coat and asking her where she got it. Men don't do that sort of thing, I keep having to remind myself, unless they're trying to chat up. And remembering to sit in a less effeminate way is something I've struggled with since I was very small and got berated for at school and in the office. It's hard trying to relearn all this for this period when I'm "out of order", as it were.

But at least I've been able still to see trans friends who take me for who I am overall rather than just what I look like at any one time. Thanks to Emma W, Joanne F, Kimberley G, Saffy W, Michelle S, Ange P, Lynn J, Christine G for all meeting me in boy mode so far this year. It means a lot.

Sue x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Winter/spring

Time to update the blog after a very busy three weeks of work.

There was a lot of interest in my last two posts, especially thanks to T-Central's post about the latter. Thank you, Calle. There's another item I'd like to post in due course on the issue of being trans, to do with the trans phenomenon over history and across cultures.

Spring has been gently pushing winter away, the days are longer, the blossom is out and, certainly last week, the air was distinctly milder. In January I lost nine pounds in weight but then there were five weeks of freezing temperatures and I had to keep warm by eating stodgy food! At least I didn't put any more weight on so now I feel its time to continue with the weight reduction programme. My skin condition is being monitored, of course, and seems to be improving once more. Fingers crossed I can get out again soon.

One other thing is that today I have gone back through my blog to make a major change to a past post and lesser alterations to three others, not through some Stalinist or IS notion of rewriting the past but because the impressions I got and the conclusions I came to were wrong and I don't want other people to make the mistake I did.

Briefly, the problem stems from my having gradually let friends know about my trans status over the last few years but some, although they seemed supportive, used that personal information about me - especially my fears, uncertainties and family worries - to then bully and abuse me, threatening to 'out' me to others who would have caused me problems. If you tell people very personal stuff about yourself, they have an advantage over you because they are in a position to exploit that knowledge without you having any corresponding power over them to keep things balanced and in check. I had hoped they would be supportive at a time of personal trouble - it's one of the reasons you have friends, after all - but they abused me instead. So my message changes to this: if you come out, be aware that you are giving away an important fact about yourself and that, for many people, knowledge is power and they may abuse that power. I am reverting to telling people about my trans side on a strictly "need to know" basis for the time being.

Sue x